Arizona Study Finds Overdose-Related Heart Attacks Rose From 2010-2015

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 2:58pm
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 11:42am
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A statewide study of cardiac arrests that occurred away from hospitals has revealed a significant uptick in overdose-related cases.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests related to drug overdoses increased from 4.7 percent to 6.6 percent in Arizona between 2010 and 2015.

That's according to an analysis of emergency medical services reports and hospital records for more than 18,000 cases.

The research, which appeared in the journal Resuscitation, was performed by the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson, the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, the Arizona Department of Health Services and UA's Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center.

The average age of people who suffered overdose-related heart attacks was 38, compared to 66 among those with presumed cardiac disease causes. Overdose patients were significantly more likely to survive, however.

Drug overdoses claimed more than 700,000 lives nationwide from 1999-2017, with a growing majority of those deaths stemming from opioids, which kill roughly 130 Americans each day.

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